Lord Mountjoy

Lord Mountjoy was sent to Ireland in 1600 to replace the Earl of Essex. He was quickly able to seize the initiative in the long running Nine Year War and particularly against Hugh O'Neill. In 1601 he ordered a daring amphibious assault at Lough Foyle which turned the tide against the rebels in Ulster. Later that year he engaged the Spanish who had landed at Kinsale to support O'Neill and drove them out of the country. Upon the death of Elizabeth in 1603, Hugh O'Neill agreed to sign a peace with Mountjoy (the Treaty of Mellifont) in the hopes that the new Scottish king would change England's policy towards the pacification of Ireland. Mountjoy declared an amnesty for the rebels and granted them honourable terms, which caused some criticism back in England.

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by Stephen Luscombe